Thursday, February 9, 2012

Things That Annoy Me Thursday: Breastfeeding Nazis

“Shame on you. I want what’s best for MY baby.”

This was posted on a message board that I used to frequent. About breastfeeding. A few people admitted that they didn’t breastfeed and this was the response they got.

I took offense.

And the funny thing is, I was able to breastfeed both of my kids. But I cannot stand the breastfeeding Nazis.

This is my definition of a breastfeeding nazi: an uptight snot.

No, I’m kidding.

A definition could be someone who doesn’t understand that other parents can make different choices than themselves.

So someone can’t breastfeed and doesn’t want to keep trying? Big deal.

So someone decided that breastfeeding just isn’t for them? Who cares?

But the breastfeeding Nazis....they tend to prey on these people. They’ll throw out the statistics on how breastfeeding babies are known to have higher IQs, are sick less often, how their poops smells sweet (their baby’s, I mean. Not theirs. Although some women probably DO believe their crap doesn’t smell..)

It’s not a problem to give advice if someone asks for it. But a lot of times, these people toss it around rudely, and it’s followed by some sort of insult. Like the one I started off with. “I want what’s best for MY baby.” What? So people who formula feed, don’t?

I wish others would follow the mantra that I do: “It’s not my kid. So it’s not my business.”

But no. You have the people who insist on giving their opinion, even if it is hurtful.

Can’t we all just band together? Parenting is hard enough as it is. We don’t need words that sting thrown in our faces.

It’s okay if you don’t breastfeed.

The world isn’t going to end even though the breastfeeding Nazis might lead you to believe it.

It’s okay if you don’t breastfeed.

42 comments:

Mae Rae said...

kudos to you! I didn't breastfeed any of my three sons. I don't regret the fact that i didn't and not only do i have three fairly intellegent children, i also got some much needed sleep when they were babies.

Orlandel said...

I didn't breastfeed any of my children and they were hardly ever sick. My SIL - who is a breastfeeding Nazi - kept telling me since they were't breastfed we were just lucky they weren't sickly. Then came her last 2. Both were breastfed. Both were at the Dr. more before they were 5 than my children have been all their lives. She has the grace not to point out my shortcomings now when the topic comes up.

Di said...

I'm still breastfeeding and I love it but its my choice and my kid. He still gets sick and he is pretty much attached to me whenever we're together because of it. Someone else may not dig that arrangement - heck sometimes I don't dig it! :)

Kathy Radigan said...

I too have come across some of these message boards or blogs that can really shame women and I think it's horrible. I breastfed two of my three children and I did not have any guilt over the fact that I could not nurse the third. He is as lovely and bright as his brother and sister and we had wonderful bonding times with the bottle.

It's funny but my sisters and I were born in the late sixties, early seventies. My mother chose to breastfeed all three of us and was given so much grief for that choice. Her best friend said it was barbaric! And her parents and my dad's family just could not understand why she would want to do it. I can't believe that we are still so hard on each other as women. Great post as always!!

Angie said...

Thank you! I pumped for a few weeks, but I stopped before I went back to work. I tried breastfeeding, but I had problems and I gave up pretty quick. I always hate reading how I failed my child because I gave her formula. She is smart and healthy. I have also been told(from someone who doesn't have children)that I am a terrible parent for letting my child watch Sesame Street, but I won't get started on that.

Dawn Ius said...

Great post. I would want to breastfeed if I could, but should there be issues, or I realize that I can't or don't like it, I'm not going to let some breastfeeding nazi -r myself - beat up on me.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I pumped and bottle-fed my preemie and nursed my full term daughter about the same amount of time (4.5 to 5 months each). They are both high IQ (moderately gifted). And, they both drank formula longer than the breast milk.

This same argument can be used for people who are circumcision Nazis. He's MY son, if I want him circ'ed, then what's the harm to you (meaning the people who give you crap about doing the procedure). Live and let live. :-)

Lisha @ DeLovely Life said...

I felt tremendous guilt when I could not breastfeed my girl. I tried. Goodness knows, I tried. I tried for two months. I pumped, I read articles, books...You name it, I read it. She never could latch on correctly and my poor bosoms... Being in the NICU for a week and fed only bottles can do that sort of thing. So yes, breastfeeding is one of my soft spots because I tried and wanted to do it so badly. It did sting a little bit when others in my family never even tried it. But did I say that they were not doing what was best for their baby? No. My breastfeeding issue has nothing to do with their breastfeeding choice. And come to think of it, breastfeeding is only one of a million parenting decisions that we judge each other about every day. I guess we should all get over that not everyone makes the same decisions, huh? ;)

Bren said...

Thanks for just saying it like it is. I couldn't breastfeed either of my daughters for very long due to different reasons each time and I felt like such a liar when the "good women" around me assumed I was. I look at it this way - I have two very healthy, very happy little girls who are also pretty darn smart in my opinion so I must have done something right!

Chantal said...

I agree!! I'm very lucky to breastfeed my baby but what others do for their babies, they can do. At least they're feeding their kids...

I also get annoyed by those people who get all uppity about breastfeeding in public. Yes, I feed my baby in public, but I cover her up. I don't mind. Some people just hate that.

Pat said...

Amen, sista! Funny, that when I had my kids (a long time ago) breast feeding wasn't pushed at all. In fact, women who breast-fed were looked upon as hippies (in my opinion)!

Megan said...

Awesome post. I couldn't BF my daughter very long because I wasn't a fan of bleeding boobs, but she is still smart and healthy. I'm going to try again with this baby, but I have to say, the idea of bottles doesn't bother me. I can understand encouragement, but those Nazis make me want to throw formula in their face. ;)

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

I had a breast reduction when I was 19 and was told that because of that I may not be able to breastfeed... and I won't know for sure until I have a baby. I hope that I'm not judged because of something silly like that!

Emily said...

OMG I cannot even begin to tell you all the crap I got when I chose not to breast feed. I had to tell my nurses every single day I was not breast feeding, and they were the people that were supposedly taking care of me. And this all happened even after I told them the reason I chose to formula feed is because I'm on prescription medication and didn't want to chance my baby getting any of it in her system. I loathe breast feeding nazis!

C (Kid Things) said...

I breastfed 2 of my 3 kids, both for a long period of time. I breastfed my 1st, too, I guess, but only for a few weeks. I can honestly say, I was so much less stressed not breastfeeding than when I was. I hated breastfeeding. That's right, hated it. And I'm so glad I'm not doing it anymore. And the kid I didn't breastfeed, is as intelligent and amazing as they come. So to me, it doesn't matter what you feed your kid, as long as you keep them healthy.

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

I truly don't understand why there's such a fuss over it. I honestly could not give the tiniest bit of a rip about how other people choose to feed their babies. As long as they're taking care of them, feeding them, and loving them...it's all good.

Steph said...

I'm still undecided on this. I have no idea what I'll do yet.

AmyLK said...

Great post! I tried to breastfeed but I couldn't. I didn't have a problem with it either. Fortunately, I didn't have the nazi's around me, or I just didn't pay attention to them at the time.

BV is right, if the babies is being fed and being loved, who cares??

Janet Johnson said...

Yeah, I've found the breastfeeding thing can bring up all kinds of strong feelings. I tried, and my baby was starving. So to breast feed was absolutely NOT the best thing for my baby. The doctor actually forbade me from it. And pumping didn't work for the same reason. There just wasn't anything there.

JoeinVegas said...

I've never breastfed any of my kids, and I'm OK with that.

Lizbeth said...

And this is why I love your work. All I have to say is, AMEN.

Teri M said...

I am so in agreement with you!

RoryBore said...

no, I think uptight snot was perfectly correct.
at least, that's what they must Want you to think, since that's How they act. and everyone loves a knowitall, right?
I breastfed 2 of my 3. I pumped for 9 nonths - practically killing myself tired - for the middle child who just couldn't seem to stop biting. like HARD. Do you think they even gave me a measure of respect for pumping effort? nay, nay.
I resisted the urge to pinch Their nipples - like Hard - so they could walk a mile.

karla said...

Thank you for this! I hated breastfeeding with a passion. I did it for my oldest for 11 months because we were poor and it was cheap. My second had BF issues and I was introduced to formula, and it was wonderful. I started to BF my last in the hospital but it brought back all the horrid memories and I made the choice to formula feed. I was such a happier mother formula feeding! And guess what, all of my kids are smart and they are all healthy - no difference between them.

Intense Guy said...

Ah... another one of those "peer pressure" never leaves the "soccer mom" set...

:)

Some people just need to mind their own G-D business. And some people need to grow backbones.

Life is good! said...

i found a funny saying on pinterest that is very appropriate here.
"hey I found your nose, it was in my business" i love it. i breastfed my kids and have no care about who does or doesn't. my kids gave me the same amount of crap as non breastfed babies, i'm sure! hAve a great day!

Diane said...

Amen.
Breastfeeding Nazis are the reason I felt so much guilt for only lasting 5 weeks of excruciating torture with my first. I ended up breastfeeding my second for 19 months and that is total b.s. about the breastfed ones getting sick less!

Foursons said...

Amen! I tried to breastfeed with my first one and it didn't work. I was harder on myself than anyone could have been on me.

Kate said...

I agree you should do the best you can for your baby, if that is formula then that's formula.

However, I will say how much I hate how quickly people tell you to give up. Having problems? Doctors don't really offer solutions they just tell you to go to formula. I've had that problem with both my girls and it's only other breastfeeding moms that gave me advice. The medical establishment dismissed my personal desire to continue as silly...and that's sad. No matter what you decide to do, as long as their is no detriment to baby, you should get support- period.

Also I hate how with my first I wasn't given a decent place to pump, while at work. There really needs to be support for both- including education and facilities for those of us who want to breastfeed. :)

The Semi-Domesticated Mama said...

I agree! I tried to breastfeed my oldest daughter. She was a preemie and had jaundice and trouble latching. We tried for weeks, going thru 3 different lactation consultants and doing everything they recommended. When she started losing weight I had to throw in the towel. I pumped and she took breastmilk exclusively from a bottle for 4 months until my supply dried up.

With my son, he took to nursing right away. He nursed for 21 months, never once taking a bottle. One day he will be a boob man.

With my youngest daughter, she was a lazy latcher. She was also a few weeks early, had severe jaundice and started losing more weight than was acceptable. Because of issues I was having with PPD and my meds, I went ahead and switched her to formula when she was 3 weeks old.

Why is that anyone else's concern? Why do they have the right to have an opinion about that? They don't. Period.

Tara said...

Sing it Sista! Can I get a hallelujah? Seriously, though. You are right. People need to try not to be so hateful. You don't know what's best for me and my baby so keep your nastiness to yourself. You're not going to shame me into breast feeding and I hope you don't treat your kids like that when they make decisions that you don't agree with.

Lana said...

I breast-fed both of my daughters and when my sister gave birth to her first child as my youngest was about to be 18 years old, she tried to do the same with her baby. My sister did her best to breast feed and it just didn't work out. She called me bawling her eyes out, telling me that she thought that she'd be a disappointment in my eyes since I had been so gung-ho about breastfeeding and she had "failed." I listened to her then said, "I was a military wife living in poverty conditions, we couldn't afford formula; you have your master's degree and are a counselor, go buy that formula, you can afford it! Feed your baby with a bottle instead of a boob and BE HAPPY!" We laughed so hard!!! It was a great bonding moment between me and my sissy.

A Beer for the Shower said...

I'm glad I can't remember whether or not I was breast fed myself.

marie said...

I am so pro-nursing, but I absolutely would never in a million years make anyone feel bad if they chose not to. I am just annoyed their breasts are probably in better shape than mine.

Mary said...

You go girl!
I breast fed both my kids for a short time.
Different complications arose and for various reasons, I had to stop. They are both smart happy functioning normal adults. I wish I could have kept going, formula is very expensive and a lot more work IMO. (thanks for stopping by my silly blog;-)

ASDMama said...

I breast fed my son, only because I was able to, and I didn't want to have to add another to the list of things to remember at the store. Even when I make a list, I forget something important. So, I guess you can say it was in his best interest to breast feed. Also, I felt a ton of pressure from my family. I'm sure that if I choose to formula feed, I never would have heard the end of it.
I have a love/hate relationship with breast feeding. I loved that I was the only one who could feed him (he couldn't figure out a bottle, and I couldn't really pump much of anything). But I hated that it felt like he was permanently attached to me. It'd stress me out a little. I understand why some woman choose one thing instead of another. The way I see it, if you love your baby, and take care of him/her, what else matters!

Myya said...

WELL SAID!
I was able to breastfeed all 3 of my girls, heck I produced so freakin much I could have fed triplets BUT both of my sisters hard a really hard time producing. One chose to keep at it trying to do everything they could to produce, the other chose to give it up. Their kids THEIR choice bottom line!
When are people going to back the hell up & give people the space to make the choices for the children they are raising. Geesh!

Charlotte said...

Though I'm not sure I'm really able to weigh in on this issue since I'm not yet a mother, I've heard this from several of my friends who are moms... and how offensive they find it when people comment on their parenting techniques. I have one friend in particular who has twin boys and she simply doesn't have the energy to breastfeed both. But she loves her children so very much and I know that words like that sting.

But thanks for an insightful post. I hope these breastfeeding nazis take heed!

Jessica B said...

I didn't breast feed any of my four kids, and I didn't feel guilty. I felt uncomfortable with the idea of breastfeeding for me, and I figured it was my body and they were my children. I felt that if I was uncomfortable with it, they with get that vibe and it would be an awful experience all around. I sometimes wish I would have tried it, but I don't regret it. My kids are all smart, healthy and well adjusted. I have great relationships with each of them and feel totally bonded to each one. Their dad was able to help with feeding too, and I think made him feel a part of things, and gave him a special way to bond with them too. I would never judge another mom on her choice and I have no tolerance for the women that do.

Katie said...

well said! I pumped for 6 mths with my son then formula fed. With my daughter.... she nursed for 2 years! But it's to each their own and as moms we do what we think is best for our OWN family. Everyone else can take a hike. On a similar topic, I had a friend gasp when we were discussing childbirth and I said that I've had two C-sections. I was bombarded with questions of why I let the Dr. 'talk me into it' and 'don't I feel like I missed out on something amazing?' Um, no. No I don't. I have two amazing, beautiful, healthy kids... and I came out without any damage to my girlie bits, lol ;) Great job as usual! Sorry I don't comment as much as I should!

Jaden said...

My mother in law had 9 kids. Some she breastfed some she didn't. Everyone turned out just fine.

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